Source: The Fix
What I Have Learned in 2 Years Operating a Drug Rehab
Here are some of my observations so far:
1) Ego (malevolent, not healthy ego) suppression/obliteration has to occur before any true healing, sobriety, re-connectedness can occur. It has to stay suppressed by the individual THEMSELVES by being able to engage whatever higher power/life skills (and combination of those) they can in order to repress this malignant/destructive side of their ego. The degree of humility a person can channel in the face of all types of life stressors appears to be the measure of one’s sobriety to me. How’s someone doing with their recovery? How is their humility? Love that. Maybe too simplistic. Looking for simple.
2) A healthy, loving and peaceful connection to one’s genuine self is the essential basis of good self-esteem/self-image that must occur BEFORE someone can truly be ok with themselves, to be able to truly love and be connected to others. However, a person gets to this place in their life has to occur by them and then practiced diligently. Respect the addiction. Daily maintenance to remain sober. Minute by minute if need be.
3) There is often a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors that can acerbate one’s tendency to be more susceptible to addictive tendencies once an addictive substance or behavior is engaged. The heavier a legacy of addiction, the more likely future addiction.
4) Knowledge of a history of addicted direct family/relatives (especially a high prevalence with it), tendencies, specific examples in families that needs to be taught/related in conversation “non-shamefully, just fact” by parents to their kids. Knowledge is power. Then, loving behaviors shown and taught as examples of healthy family bonding, Also, “solutions” taught to avoiding any temptations or situations that will occur. Most important – a willing communication by kids to “healthy/sober” parents of situations where they struggle or questions regarding maintaining their “healthy boundaries.” Parents can’t pass down what they DON’T know. What REAL intimacy is. Once parents and their kids do know how to be “healthy” people and pass that down to their kids or others, the “legacy of addiction” can STOP or be thwarted.
5) Early and sustained substance abuse by children and adolescents stunts their brain’s development and can have significant negative effect on their lives. Emotions and maturity are greatly stunted. Early usage also most likely leads on to more dangerous drugs. Thinking errors for sure. The extent of the effect these drugs have on their brains/lifestyles is DIRECTLY proportional to the amount, the intensity of usage/dosage and how young they started. Period.
6) That marijuana is a more “dangerous” drug than alcohol. They both can be bad, but marijuana is more dangerous. Beer can lead on to heavier liquor, but marijuana can and most often leads on to potentially instantaneous life threatening drug experimentation or usage for which for some people leads to no way out of their addiction unless there is severe intervention.
7) ANY sustained or consistent use of alcohol or drugs will have an eventual negative effect on your body and those around you. Sudden and quick deaths by alcohol poisoning are not as an acute epidemic today like drug overdose deaths. An occasional beer for a “non-addict” won’t kill them on the spot, but there is nothing like occasional drug use for a drug addict. No half measures are possible as AA says.
8) Drug usage by children and adolescents can also trigger/greatly accelerate mental health issues already inherent in the individual or mental health disorders that are induced by the usage of drugs. You have an underlying mental health issue? Take some drugs, more the better, consistently and these mental health disorders will quickly surface for you.
9) Substances/aberrant behaviors can become the “instant solution” for a lack of healthy connectedness in a family or social situations. A transformational effect on addicts. Kids who imprint on drugs and not a healthy family lifestyle, use drugs to fulfill that deep need to be loved, validated and connected to others that are what families are supposed to be about. That substance/behavior kids/addicts enthusiastically engage first becomes the “instantaneous, warm, fuzzy, connected attachment/connected feeling” that a kid who didn’t bond with a healthy/humble/sober person/family system/community as they grew up. Nobody’s fault, some family systems accomplish this necessary bonding with their young and some don’t. We see the ones that don’t get a healthy connection to themselves through their family.
10) Honesty in everything – to self and others – is where you need to start not only in recovery, but with living everyday healthy life. No exceptions. “What tangled webs we weave, once we practice to deceive.” Walter Scott. That, “Life is difficult, but once we know that, we can successfully plan to transcend that and get to a better, happier place.” Chris Farni adapted from Scott Peck.
The above are just some conclusions I have drawn… Most importantly I am NOT on the Treatment Team at SMR. Don’t want to be. Not trained for it. These above conclusions are my opinions from what I have seen and learned.
Life coach? Still not sure when that applies. Best likely coach to parents of the afflicted. That is the story I need to tell. It is what I can relate to the afflicted. Just how to do that and when. Done in love would be the key whenever done. Drug addiction and recovery does affect/effect/involve the family. The individual first though.
Most important what I have learned is that this treatment business is really hard. A lot of nuances because we are dealing with human beings and not a finite product. But, we are learning each day.
By, Chris Farni
Founder & Director
Spirit Mountain Recovery